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Battleship Yamato under construction at Kure Naval Arsenal

Midget Submarines in a drydock at Kure

Kure Naval Arsenal (呉海軍工廠 Kure Kaigun Kosho?) was one of four principal naval shipyards owned and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy.


The Kure Naval District was established at Kure, Hiroshima in 1889, as the second of the naval districts responsible for the defense of the Japanese home islands. Along with the establishment of the navy base, a ship repair facility was also constructed, initially by moving the equipment from the Onohama shipyards near Kobe. Construction was supervised by the French engineer Louis-Émile Bertin. The first warship constructed at Kure, Miyako, was launched in 1897. The "Kure Shipyards" were officially renamed the "Kure Naval Arsenal" in 1903.

Kure developed into one of the largest shipbuilding facilities in the Empire of Japan, capable of working with the largest vessels. The Arsenal included a major steel works (built with British assistance), and also facilities for producing naval artillery and projectiles. The battleships Yamato and Nagato were designed and constructed at Kure.

The facilities of the Kure Naval Arsenal were repeatedly targeted for bombing by the United States Navy during World War II, and over 70% of its buildings and equipment was destroyed.

After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Kure Naval Arsenal was turned over to civilian hands. It is now owned and operated by Ishikawajima Harima and is one of Japan's few remaining active shipbuilders.

See also


  • Hunter, Janet (2002). The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000: Volume IV: Economic and Business Relations. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-79197-5. 
  • Samuels, Richard J. (1996). "Rich Nation, Strong Army": National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9994-1. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. 
  • Sims, Richard (1998). French Policy Towards the Bakufu and Meiji Japan 1854-1894: A Case of Misjudgement and Missed Opportunities. RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 1-873410-61-1. 

Coordinates: 34°13′55″N 132°33′14″E / 34.232°N 132.554°E / 34.232; 132.554

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